Thursday, December 27, 2007

San Francisco Zoo Mauling and "Endangered" (1997)

What makes some stories catch on, while others do not? How and why do certain cultural narrative ring true? This post continues the contemplation of the San Francisco Zoo's escaped tiger and the 1997 play, "Endangered." Please see Part I of this story.

Please disregard the wind noise -- a storm was coming in at Wailea Beach in Maui.

SF Zoo Mauling and a 1997 Play: Life Imitating Art

I am always amazed at the way that certain issues resurface and renew themselves in the new times, circumstances, and contexts. At the same time, it's interesting to see how life imitates art -- not just in visions of the future (science fiction) or heinous crimes (action-adventure and crime drama), but in other areas as well. In 1996, I wrote a couple of plays featuring animals. The first, Let Dogs Lie, explored the parallels between using animals to test surgical procedures for humans and relationships between people. The second, Endangered, probed the nature of being not only captive, but having one's captivity be the subject of spectacle. It, too, explored parallels between animals in captivity and people in awkward situations (families, relationships, the past).

Because of the recent mauling death of a teenager who was visiting the San Francisco Zoo, and who was mauled to death by an escaped Siberian tiger, I thought I'd take this opportunity to provide links to the play (with podcasts), together with a few thoughts.

A play about large cats in zoos and zoo patrons. First published by Potes and Poets Press in 1997, and performed at St. Gregory's University in the spring of 1998.

Endangered: Part I

Endangered: Part II

Endangered: Part III

Please email me (Susan Smith Nash - if you're interested in finding out how you can obtain copies of the other play, and also license a production. My email: beyondutopia at gmail dot com

Recommended experimental poetics sites:




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